3.1.2.70 Exemptions from waiting periods

Summary

The general provisions regarding exemptions from waiting or preclusion periods are outlined in this topic for the following waiting periods:

Some payments or benefits also have specific provisions allowing exemptions, and these are detailed in the relevant topic in Part 3.

Exemption from the LAWP

A person may be exempted from the LAWP if he or she:

  • is transferring from one social security income support payment to another within a 14-day period, OR
  • has self-served the LAWP (see below), OR
  • has served a LAWP during the 12 months immediately prior to claiming, or becoming qualified for, payment, OR
  • is in severe financial hardship because they have incurred unavoidable or reasonable expenditure, OR
  • becomes qualified for JSP after a continuous period in receipt of income support payments, OR
  • is undertaking
    • an activity as part of Stream C employment services, OR
    • a rehabilitation program (DES - DMS - see note below), OR
    • an activity as part of the CDP for a person who would otherwise have been referred to DES - DMS, if not for the person being placed in CDP, OR
    • is making a claim for JSP or YA within 14 weeks of their partner's death, or if the person was pregnant when their partner died, within 14 weeks of their partner's death or before the pregnancy ends, whichever is the longest period.

Note: Stream C employment services will be discontinued from 4 July 2022. A person whose Stream C exemption commenced prior to 4 July 2022 will continue to have that exemption applied until the stated end date.

Note: Under the definitions in the SSAct and the Disability Services Act 1986, a 'rehabilitation program' means DES - DMS.

People undertaking an activity as part of CDP will be eligible for the exemption based on their ESAt (1.1.E.104). The ESAt is used to determine a job seeker's barriers to employment, work capacity, and referral to an appropriate employment services program. CDP participants may be exempt from the LAWP if their ESAt indicates that they would have been referred to DES - DMS.

A person may also be exempted from the LAWP if the person or their partner has been subject to a LAWP that started within the last 12 months (which includes where only part of a LAWP had been served). This provision does not apply to YA or Austudy recipients.

Example: If the person's partner is serving a LAWP at the time the person claims payment, the person is exempted from the LAWP.

Act reference: SSAct section 549A Liquid assets test waiting period (YA), section 575A Liquid assets test waiting period (Austudy), section 598 Liquid assets test waiting period (JSP)

Self-serving the LAWP

The LAWP is considered to have been self-served if the claim is made after the LAWP would have expired.

Exemption from the NARWP

The NARWP provisions restricting migrants' access to payments and concessions are not identical across payments and concession types. As a result, exemptions from the NARWP also vary, depending on the payment or concession type and the type of visa a person holds.

Note: For detailed information on exemptions from the NARWP refer to 3.1.2.43.

Exemption from the OWP

A person may be exempted from the OWP if:

  • they are reclaiming within 13 weeks of last receiving a social security benefit or allowance
  • they are in severe financial hardship and are also experiencing a personal financial crisis (1.1.P.236) because at some time in the 4 weeks immediately before the person's start day
    • they have been subjected to domestic violence
    • they incurred unavoidable or reasonable expenditure
    • the person was in gaol or psychiatric confinement
    • the person first entered Australia and was the holder of a humanitarian visa on that entry to Australia, OR
    • the person's principal place of residence was lost or sustained major damage as a result of an extreme circumstance, OR
  • the person is undertaking
    • an activity as part of Stream C employment services, OR
    • a rehabilitation program (DES - DMS - see note below), OR
    • an activity as part of the CDP for a person who would otherwise have been referred to DES - DMS, if not for the person being placed in CDP, OR
    • the person is making a claim for JSP or YA within 14 weeks of their partner's death, or if the person was pregnant when their partner died, within 14 weeks of their partner's death or before the pregnancy ends, whichever is the longest period.

Note: Stream C employment services will be discontinued from 4 July 2022. A person whose Stream C exemption commenced prior to 4 July 2022 will continue to have that exemption applied until the stated end date.

Note: Under the definitions in the SSAct and the Disability Services Act, a 'rehabilitation program' means DES - DMS.

People undertaking an activity as part of CDP will be eligible for the exemption based on their ESAt. The ESAt is used to determine a job seeker's barriers to employment, work capacity, and referral to an appropriate employment services program. CDP participants may be exempt from the OWP if their ESAt indicates that they would have been referred to DES - DMS.

Act reference: SSAct section 19C Severe financial hardship definitions, section 19DA Experiencing a personal financial crisis definition, section 500WA Ordinary waiting period (PP), section 549CA Ordinary waiting period (YA), section 620 Ordinary waiting period (JSP)

Social Security (Exemptions from Non-payment and Waiting Periods - Activities) Specification 2017

Policy reference: SS Guide 1.1.P.236 Personal financial crisis - OWP, 1.1.S.125 Severe financial hardship - OWP, SWPP, LAWP, IMP, 3.1.2.50 Ordinary waiting period

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